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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 39: The 'Forced Homosexualization' of Joseph Farah

WorldNetDaily's editor and CEO is so paranoid about anything gay-related that not only does WND pursue a distorted anti-gay agenda, he thinks people critical of it are out to kill him.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 9/21/2006

Really, Joseph Farah has only himself to blame. If WorldNetDaily hadn't run such slanted articles, his sanity and paranoia would not be tested.

What are we talking about?

Let's start at the beginning, where we find, yes, WND's own biased reporting regarding a series of bills in the California legislature regarding gays and education. Typical of WND's coverage is an Aug. 29 article that uses alarmist language, and the logical fallacy that depiction of something equals approval of it, to distort a new California law that adds "sexual orientation" to the non-discrimination provisions any group accepting state money must abide by. But that's not how WND described it. Here's the article's alarmist lead:

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has tossed out all sexual moral conduct codes at colleges, private and Christian schools, daycare centers and other facilities throughout his state, if the institutions have any students who get state assistance.

The governor yesterday signed a bill that would require all businesses and groups receiving state funding -- even if it's a state grant for a student -- to condone homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality.

The article went on to assert that the law means groups must not just "condone" it, it must "endorse such behavior." Another passage asserts that the law "specifically requires 'any program or activity that receives any financial assistance from the state' to support the alternative sexual lifestyle choices."

Such claims assume that because a group isn't allowed to discriminate against gays, it is therefore endorsing or promoting homosexual behavior, which is a logical fallacy; it's not a binary choice. The article -- using language apparently taken from the Campaign for Children and Families, a California group fighting these proposals, without explicitly stating it was doing so -- further promotes the fallacy by asserting that "several other 'sexual indoctrination bills' are heading to the governor":
One would prohibit textbooks or school-sponsored activities from "reflecting adversely" on a certain list of sexual choices.

Another would allow the California superintendent of public instruction to arbitrarily withhold state funds from any district that does not adequately promote the State Department of Education's "model policy" promoting transsexuality, bisexuality or homosexuality in its school policies.

Still another would spend state money promoting transsexual, bisexual and homosexual lifestyles.

Of course, there is no "promoting" involved. The "model policy" bill (AB 606), in fact, amends current law on school non-discrimination programs to permit withholding of state funding to schools who don't show demonstrated progress on the issue. WND's description comes straight from a CCF "analysis."

The "state money promoting transsexual, bisexual and homosexual lifestyles" bill (AB 1056) -- again, language that WND copied from a CCF "analysis" -- is, in fact, for "tolerance education." Tolerance does not equal "promotion."

WND actually diverged from the CCF description of the textbook bill (SB 1437), substituting "a certain list of sexual choices" for the actual list that CCF uses. WND's wording reflects the conservative bias that any non-heterosexual behavior is a "choice."

The WND article quotes only opponents of these bills; no supporters are cited to provide a balanced view.

The next day, WND editor Joseph Farah demonstrated the dangers of relying on WorldNetDaily as a reliable source of news -- as he has done before -- by relying on this article to use his column to make sweepingly bizarre claims. Farah repeated the article's overstated claim that the law signed by Schwarzenegger "effectively tosses out all sexual moral conduct codes at colleges, private and Christian schools, daycare centers and other so-called facilities across the state." Farah then launches into his own version of the depiction-equals-approval fallacy:

While much of the world was watching the forced conversions of two kidnapped Fox News journalists in the Gaza Strip, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took a huge step toward forcing millions of Californians to convert.

It's not Islam that Schwarzenegger and the state are forcibly pushing through all schools that accept any public form of financial aid for students. It's paganism. It's the worship of Baal. It's a primitive form of religion that is making a comeback. It's a faith that says sacrifice your sons and daughters on this altar – or else.


The law requires all businesses and groups receiving any form of state funding – even if it's a grant for one student – to condone homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality and God knows what else.


I don't want to overstate this, but this is the end of religious freedom in the biggest state in the union.


By going to virtually any educational institution in California today you are swearing allegiance to the idea that homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality and a growing list of other sexual sins and pathologies are just as good, just as normal, just as acceptable, just as healthy as heterosexuality.

Even worse, you are converting to this religious view. You are rejecting your old religious code – if you had one. You are accepting what might be called "the mark of the Terminator."

Farah appears to assume that because you are not allowed to condemn something, you must in fact accept it. This is logically false; as Farah himself pointed out, people who feel that they must discriminate against gays -- and really, for all of Farah's fulminations, he is essentially arguing that gays must be discriminated against -- they can simply choose not to accept state funding.

Now, if you're thinking, "Gee, Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily sound a bit anti-gay," you'd be right: At the same time it was misleading its readers about the California bills, it was attacking Wal-Mart for Wal-Mart for joining the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. A Sept. 1 article reported that Wal-Mart officials described its affiliation as "just another routine business outreach" and that "other major corporations are doing the same types of things," then ominously added: "However, conservatives and Christians see it differently." But the only person critical of the decision cited in the article is Tony Perkins of the conservative Family Research Council.

(A WND column the same day by Kevin McCullough -- linked to in the "news" article -- added a little gay-bashing smear to the mix: "Why will Wal-Mart spend monetary resources to help fund conferences that promote same-gender sexual behavior? Would they do the same for adulterers? Pedophiles? Men who like sheep?")

Meanwhile, as WND continued to misrepresent the California bills -- as it did in an Aug. 31 article that declared California "a state-mandated pro-homosexual environment" and a Sept. 5 article that repeated the CCF's distorted claims -- another writer was taking exception to it. In a Sept. 12 article for the liberal website Online Journal, Mel Seesholtz, a professor at Penn State University, accused right-wing Christians of pushing "their own twisted agenda of bigotry and hate" by demonizing the California bills. Citing previous criticism of Farah by ConWebWatch, Seesholtz pointed out that WND's coverage of the issue was "deceptive and misleading" and that one article "blatantly lied":

Note how often the WorldNet Daily article used the word "promote." None of the California legislation forces anyone to "promote" or "support" anything other than treating all American citizens equally and with respect. But "equality" and "respect" are not in the Christian Right's vocabulary. They prefer using their perverted form of religion to promote discrimination, hate and, most of all, themselves.

Seesholtz rather dramatically closed his article by stating:

A very wise woman recently asked me "Who will rid us of the evil lunatics?"

We will. We must. Public education and a civil, civilized society depend upon it.

It was so dramatic, in fact, that Farah decided Seesholtz wanted to have him killed. In his Sept. 13 column, Farah launched a vitriolic, paranoid rant against Seesholtz, asserting that he is a leader of those who represent "a new bloodlust for eliminating the plague of uppity Christians right here in the U.S.":

And what is the penalty for such crimes in the eyes of this academic who also teaches in the American Studies and Science, Technology and Society programs while feeding at the Pennsylvania public trough?

Apparently, the penalty for opposition to Seesholtz's ideas about "equality" and "respect" is death.


Though this English prof is long on rhetoric and short on grammar and punctuation, he leaves little room for doubt about who the "evil lunatics" are who must be eliminated from his "civil civilized society."


You talk about "perversion," this is it. You talk about a poisoned mind incapable of distinguishing right from wrong, this is it. You talk about a fascist who wants to use the coercive power of the state to push his own religious views on others, this is it. You talk about a madman who is actively calling for the elimination of those with whom he disagrees in the name of creating a "civil civilized society," this is it.

Farah not only misrepresented Seesholtz's criticism -- while Farah repeated Seesholtz's accurate claim that WND engaged in "deceptive and misleading" reporting on the legislation, he never bothered to address it again, even to deny it -- he attacked Seesholtz personally:

Apparently, the little hatemonger is developing some new courses of study for the unsuspecting skulls full of mush who attend Penn State: "Religion in American Life and Thought," a class in which I'm certain students will get a most unbiased point of view from their teacher.

The good news for Seesholtz today is he's more famous than he's ever been before. The bad news is there are more little, bigoted, intolerant rats like this dwelling in the sewers that are America's universities than you could imagine.

Pennsylvanians, let me suggest you have a Ward Churchill in your midst – a hateful little man obsessed with stamping out any and all opposition to the forced homosexualization of America.

In response, Seesholtz penned another Online Journal article, which was printed in heavily truncated form in WND's letters section. (WND does not archive its letters, and they cycle out after a week.) In it (and in the section of it that WND did print), Seesholtz emphatically denied that he wanted to kill Farah, stating, "No where in my essay – or in my life – have I ever called for anyone to be killed...." (WND edited out what followed: "...unlike some who have a problem with gay people." Seesholtz cited death threats by WND readers apparently prompted by Farah's column (not printed by WND), and noted:

Aside from being taken out of context, when did "rid" become "kill"? To be sure, I would like to “rid” the U.S. Senate of politicians such as Rick Santorum, but certainly wish the man no physical harm. And yes, I do believe those who openly advocate discrimination against fellow citizens in the public arena are "evil."

Seesholtz also cited the ConWebWatch articles to which he linked in his original article, but WND didn't print those, either.

And how did Farah react to Seesholtz's unequivocal denial of wanting to kill Farah? By continuing to insist that Seesholtz wants to kill him.

In his Sept. 16 column, Farah again referred to Seesholtz's "thinly veiled call for my death, along with James Dobson's" and "a nutcase calling for my head" -- despite the fact that he links to the WND letters in which Seesholtz specifically wrote, "No where in my essay – or in my life – have I ever called for anyone to be killed...."

Farah never acknowledged this explicit claim, so lost was he in his paranoia. Instead, he continued his personal attack on Seesholtz; in addition to calling him a "nutcase," Farah claimed without evidence that he "has turned the vilification of Christians and the promotion of same-sex marriage into something of a cottage industry" and called him "the Ward Churchill of the pro-perversion, anti-Christian crowd." Farah's rant also expands to homosexuality as a whole: "Since homosexuals don't reproduce naturally, they need to recruit – not to be their children, mind you, but to be their prey."

And Farah continued to misrepresent one of the California bills, which would have prohibited school textbooks from "reflecting adversely" on a large list of various minority groups, including gays (Schwarzenegger had vetoed it). Farah repeated the biased claims of WND's "news" articles that the bill "would have mandated sexual indoctrination of kids from kindergarten on up," adding, "This is not as [sic] education. This is homosexual reproduction."

At this point, Seesholtz has the last word, responding in a Sept. 18 Online Journal article. Noting that WND's version of his earlier letter was "a highly edited, sanitized version," noting: "Shouldn't all American citizens be treated equally and with respect? Shouldn't all American children feel safe in school? Apparently Mr. Farah does not believe so. Sadly, he has plenty of company."

Meanwhile, WND has continued to misrepresent the bills in its "news" articles. A Sept. 16 WND article uncritically stated that the bills "have been approved by a pro-gay legislature."

But amid all this rancor, there's one thing missing: Farah's own specific views on what to do about that "plague of uppity homosexuals" that Seesholtz represents (because he certainly didn't answer any of the questions Seesholtz raised in that area). Would he like to be "rid" of them the way he claims Seesholtz wants to be "rid" of him?

Circumstantial evidence suggests the answer is yes. Farah is already on record as advocating the execution of adulterers. He wrote of the Supreme Court judges "who have found hidden in the U.S. Constitution a right to practice homosexual sodomy" in the Lawrence v. Texas case: "These people have to go." This seems to indicate that sodomy and homosexuality not only should be outlawed but that it must be outlawed. Another Farah column appeared to be rooting for a "backlash" against "homosexual political activists."

So, Mr. Farah, what do you want to happen to gays? Death? Forced re-education from the ex-gay ministries WND loves to promote? A blacklist, as you recommended for those Hollywood actors who are not sufficiently conservative or American enough?

In short: What is your solution to the "plague" of homosexuality? We await you answer, Mr. Farah. And try not to descend into your paranoid fantasies when you give it.

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